Get ready for winter now

High water on road (Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation)

High water on road (Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation)


Seven Tips to Winterize Your Home

Col. Jose Aguilar, Portland District Commander (Corps of Engineers photo)

  • Plan for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient alternate heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be sure wood stoves or space heaters are properly ventilated and observe fire safeguards.
  • Extend the life of your heat supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize any other structure that may provide shelter for you or your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment.
  • Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your house or other structure during a storm.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires are an additional risk as people use alternate heating sources — without observing safety precautions.
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.

Bree BrendeWhen the storm hits

  • Stay inside when a winter storm approaches. Exposure to cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and become life-threatening. Infants and the elderly are the most susceptible. Take the following steps during a winter storm.
  • Close off unneeded rooms and stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and cover windows at night. Ensure that all doors and windows are weatherproofed.
  • Eat and drink sufficient amounts of waters. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing. Remove layers as necessary to avoid overheating. Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots.
  • Have extra blankets on hand for added warmth.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.
  • Never use a generator indoors! If you decide to use a back-up power generator be sure that it is properly ventilated outdoors. Avoid using BBQs indoors for heat and cooking. Use of both items indoors can easily lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.